Travel…Most Of Us Want To Do It, Make It Happen.
As a child, holidays consisted of anywhere you could drive to and stay with relatives. I didn’t go on a plane until I was 14 and that was a school band trip to New Zealand. I saved $700 from working in a café every afternoon after school, and my dad chipped in the rest to make it happen. As a child, holidays consisted of anywhere you could drive to and stay with relatives. I didn’t go on a plane until I was 14 and that was a school band trip to New Zealand. I saved $700 from working in a café every afternoon after school, and my dad chipped in the rest to make it happen.
I remember being there thinking how much I loved travel, and that when I left home, I was going to travel as much as I could.
But work kicks in, you save, and spend money elsewhere and next thing you know, you haven’t gone anywhere. I made a decision when I was 23 that I would travel overseas every year that I could, and that I would spend a portion of my annual earnings on travel.
If you want to travel, you need to make a decision that it is a thing you budget for every year. Otherwise you will never afford it and never go anywhere. You will instead invest it in other more important things. So if you want to travel, you need to make a decision today that it is something in your life that is very important to you. Just like a budget for buying a house or paying rent, you need to put a savings plan in place. And just like buying a house, it doesn’t mean you are rich if you travel. It means that it is a priority to you and your family. Many sacrifices have to be made to make holidays happen, just like anything you are saving for.
Lets face it, holidays for a family are not cheap. And sure, the thousands that we spend could go towards other things, but as I said above, I made a decision that travel is one of the things I think is vital for my family to save for.
The reason? I believe children learn so much about being exposed to different cultures, socio economic environments, foods, and experiences. It makes them realise that the world is a very big place, the privileged life that we live in Australia, and it gives me quality time with them to connect and enjoy learning together. I believe that after the basic human needs of love, food and shelter that education is integral to a persons growth. Travel will make you grow emotionally, physically, mentally, and even spiritually-nothing beats getting out and exploring the world and the amazing things there is to see.
So step one. Make a decision that travel is very important to you.
Step two, is make the time and find the money.
Time is up to you and your schedule, but there are obviously cheaper times of year to travel, and they are usually out of school holiday periods unfortunately. We try really hard not to pull the kids out of school, but when we do, I justify it to myself that they are going to learn a lot on the holiday.
Money is usually the clincher. I can tell you that my family live a very simple life. We are not poor, but we certainly aren’t wealthy. We are your average earning family who do what it takes to make it happen. Here are the top 5 things we do to save for holidays.
1. We set a goal.
Write a list of all the places you want to go in the world before your kids leave home. Is it Japan, Bali, Fiji, America, Canada- write them all out, and include the top five things that you want to do ie, Disney Land, Skiing, A Zoo.
2. Work out the budget.
Now it’s time to work out an approximate cost. Do a quick google or head to a travel agent. What will this holiday approximately cost you in hard costs (Flights, accommodation, and the top 5 places you want to go, what are the entry fee’s) Then google, ask friends or a travel agent to help you work out a budget for the trip. For example. Family four trip to Bali for 10 days. Flights return, and travel insurance approx. $2000 Accommodation, approx. $200 per night, 10 nights $2000Food and drinks, $80 per day.Fun budget $1000 (tours, shopping, massage, taxis etc)= $5,800 to save for the holiday at a minimum. I always like to save about 20% more, and then also try to find better deals that my budget. The bonus, I come home with money for the next trip.
3. Look for ways to save.
The biggest expense for a holiday is the flights and accommodation. So look out for flight sales, often many of them are annual. Sign up to the major airlines to get their deals, or download the app “Know The Pilot” it has deals daily to tempt you. Or, talk to a travel agent about your holiday, and ask them to let you know when there are deals on. The thing is, you need to be ready to book the flights straight away within 24 hours usually, so this is the hardest part is committing to a time and getting approval for it from work! Travel agents can hold flights, and some airlines will allow you to do the same for a small fee, so I recommend doing that if you need approval.
So you have the goal, you have a budget, you are going to try and get under this budget but still save over this amount for the holiday, now where is the money going to come from? There are two ways.
a. Cut current expenses b. Make more money
Cut current expenses-take a look at your life and work out what it costs. The expenses my family cut where weekly take out or meals out (lets face it this is $50-$100 per time), buying drinks at cafés on weekends, and I limit my social activities and personal expenses-I do my own nails (if at all) and have a budget for clothes, don’t drive and consume fuel unnecessarily, bulk buy and try and save on insurances etc. This in itself worked out to save over $7,000 a year. Sure, it means we are less social, sure it means I cook a lot, but these are sacrifices I am happy to make to invest money into travel. My children know we make sacrifices for they toys they want for a holiday- they get it if you explain it to them.
Make more money- I have a few jobs on the side to make extra cash. This is work I do that 100% goes to the travel fund. Sure, I don’t want to do it sometimes, but I do, because it has a purpose- to save for the travel fund. There are plenty of things you can do to earn a little bit of extra cash. If it’s a $7,000 holiday, you need to earn about $135 per week, or $540 a month. I’d stack shelves, do multi level marketing sales like Arbonne, wait tables, or even babysit or clean houses if I had to! If you have older kids, get them on board to help too- it sure makes them appreciate the holiday more.
In the end, having family holidays is something you need to decide to invest in and for most of us, make sacrifices year round to make it happen. Happy travels!